Omicron Kappa Upsilon had its inception with the class of 1914 at Northwestern University Dental School. A committee from this group submitted a petition to the faculty of the school which stated they were “desirous of organizing and funding a national honorary fraternity similar to other honorary fraternities now existing in the leading universities…but which shall consist of dental students exclusively; admission and membership to which shall be based upon scholarship and character as manifested by election by the faculty.”
OKU-Omicron Kappa Upsilon: Omicron is the first letter of the Greek word for “teeth”, Kappa is the word for “and”, Upsilon is the first letter of the Greek word for “health”. You will also notice that the letter Sigma is prominent in the emblem of our honor society. Sigma stands for conservation”. Therefore, OKU and its emblem represent “conservation of teeth and health.”
Induction into this prestigious National Dental Honor Society validates remarkable academic achievement, demonstrated exemplary traits of character, and qualities for future professional growth.
As the top 12 percent of your class at the #1 Dental School in the nation; you truly are the Leaders and Best. You set a standard of excellence for yourself and all of your classmates. Future students will be inspired to emulate and we want to congratulate you on your hard work and dedication to the advancement of dentistry.
This honor society was founded for the purpose of recognizing the outstanding scholarship of dental students. The admission standards are meant to encourage and develop a spirit of emulation among students in dentistry and to recognize those who distinguish themselves by exemplary scholarship.
The alumni members are selected from the top 20% of the graduating class. These top 20% have demonstrated outstanding scholarship, as well as exemplary character and personal qualities that will encourage future professional growth and attainment. From this initial list, only 12% of the graduating class is elected into OKU.
To be eligible to be elected as a faculty member, faculty must be dentists in a dental school as full-time teachers for 3 years or part-time for 6 years and have made outstanding contributions to the art, science or literature of dentistry. To be eligible to be elected as an honorary member, a person must be a dentist who is not a faculty member of a dental school or a faculty member that is not a dentist and have made outstanding contribution to the advancement of dentistry.
Presented by Phil Richards, DDS, MS
Dr. Rogério Castilho is an associate professor at the Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry. He is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the College of Literature, Sciences, and the Arts (LSA) at the Undergraduate Education Department at the University of Michigan.
Presented by Phil Richards, DDS, MS
Dr. Jeff Wang is a Clinical Assistant Professor and discipline coordinator for Predoctoral Periodontics in the Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry. Dr. Chin-Wei (Jeff) Wang received his DDS from Taipei Medical University in Taiwan.
Honorary Membership goes to an elected member of the dental profession who made outstanding contribution to the art, literature, and science of dentistry or others not members of the dental profession who have made similar outstanding contributions to the advancement of dentistry.
Presented by Larry Salzmann, DDS
I started my career in dental hygiene with an Associate’s degree from Lakeland Community College, Ohio in 1974. For the next 35 years I worked as a clinical dental hygienist, practicing in a variety of settings in Ohio, Texas, Wisconsin, and Michigan.
The component chapter may also award a Certificate of Recognition to a person, or persons, who are not eligible for faculty or honorary membership in appreciation of outstanding service to the OKU Chi Chapter. These certificates are given for exemplary service to the School of Dentistry and the dental profession and we have one recipient this year.
Presented by Renée Duff, DDS, MS
Evidence of our history is the number of life members in OKU. To qualify for life membership, one must have been an active or associate member of OKU for 30 years and have reached 60 years of age. This year we have three new life members being inducted.
This OKU Scholarship award is designated by our Chi chapter at UofM to recognize the second year dental student who has the highest scholastic average through the end of the winter term of their first year.
In March of 1986 the Supreme Chapter of Omicron Kappa Upsilon approved the creation of the Dr. William S. Kramer Award of Excellence to honor Dr. Kramer’s service for over 25 years to OKU. Dr. Kramer served as an officer in the Supreme Chapter for over 20 of those years. He also served as chair of Pediatric Dentistry at the University of Nebraska, was very active in professional organizations, lectured internationally and was published extensively. Dr. Kramer passed away on March 9th, 2013 but his work and commitment to the dental profession will live on.
Each component chapter may elect one student each year to receive the Kramer Award of Excellence. The recipient is selected on the basis of scholarship, character and potential promise for the advancement of dentistry as well as service to humanity and must have completed two years of academic dental study. The Kramer Award recipient receives a monetary award and a certificate of recognition.
Each year we invite the top D2 students in their class. We want to congratulate these students on their academic performance! We challenge you to continue your commitment to your responsibilities as students while maintaining a strong sense of integrity. Keep up the good work. We hope to see you again at your alumni induction!